How I Publish Books and When They Become Available

When Books Become Available

Due to the amount of emails I get asking me when a book is going to be available on a site like Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel, Sony, and Apple, I am making this post which I will then link up to my website. 

The short answer is this:  I have no control over the timing of my books going to any of the above listed stores.  That’s all under Smashwords’ control.

Now here’s the long answer….

When I publish a book, I go directly to two channels.  I go to Amazon’s Kindle and to Smashwords.  So let’s take Suddenly a Bride as an example since I’ll be publishing that around July 1. 

I publish Suddenly a Bride to Amazon for the Kindle and for Smashwords on the same day.  Amazon will have it up within 2 days.  It might take an extra day for the description of the book to show up.

Now the book will be available on the same day on Smashwords.  Smashwords, by the way, supports all ebook formats, so regardless of what type of ereader you have, you can download the book from there if you don’t want to wait for the Smashwords’ distribution channels to pick it up.  Smashwords also have pdfs and a web version of the book you can download and read off your computer.

How long it takes Smashwords to ship the book out to Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, Diesel, and Apple depends on a variety of factors:

1. how long it takes for Smashwords to approve the formatting

2. how backed up Smashwords is on sending out other books

3. how backed up other sites are in putting the books up on their site

All I can say is that those three factors vary.  I can’t say exactly what the time frame is for any of them.  I can guess.  Smashwords approval takes about 1-2 weeks.  Sending them out depends on the distribution site.  Barnes & Noble has typically been the quickest.  Once the book is approved, it’s usually up in 2-3 weeks.  Someone just asked why I don’t upload to Barnes & Noble.  Mainly, I trust Smashwords to pay me, and since Smashwords has been good to me, I want to stay with them.  Smashwords doesn’t distribute to Amazon.  When they do, I’ll keep my account with Amazon since it’s already there. 

So if I publish Suddenly a Bride on July 1, it might be up at Barnes & Noble in August. The other sites, I would say it can be up to a few months.  So it could, theoretically, take up to December for Suddenly a Bride to be up on one of those sites.  They used to be faster, but since more authors are publishing with Smashwords, it’s slowed the system down.

What if you want the book as soon as it comes out?

If you don’t want to wait for the book to be available on your preferred site, my recommendation is to either download the free Kindle for PC, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or iPad app off of Amazon and buy the book from Amazon.  If you go to the link for the Kindle version of my book, you will find the options for the Kindle apps to the right side under the ‘Buy’ button.

Or you can buy it off of Smashwords.  Smashwords supports HTML, Javascript, Kindle, Epub, PDF, RTF, LRF, Palm Doc, Plain Text download, and Plain Text view. 

So it’s up to you on how you want to do this.  You can have the book as soon as it’s out or wait for it to be available on the site of your choice.  I can only control when it’s up on Amazon and Smashwords. 

While I am making this post, I should also state that I am not making any more paperbacks. 

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to or check out
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4 Responses to How I Publish Books and When They Become Available

  1. I love your books and style of writing. If you can submit directly to Amazon, why can’t you submit directly to Barnes and Noble? We have a Nook and Nook for PC. With these two readers you can download and read off line. Kindle for PC seems to require you to be connected to the internet, it has to do with their “sync between readers” function. .Keep writing great books!!! Larry Davenport

    • I’d rather have Smashwords handle that. I’ve heard some iffy stuff about B&N paying some authors and not paying them, but with Smashwords, B&N is accountable to a publisher instead of an author. The publisher has a lot more pull.

      • Yeah, I let Smashwords handle B&N, too. I looked through their program and wasn’t that impressed with it, as far as seeing the need to do it separate.

        • That’s another thing. I’ve heard a lot of authors complain about the kinks in their publishing program. It’s just easier to have Smashwords handle it from their end.

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